Saving The Bees
How Does Bee Free Honee® help bees?
We are asking consumers to be thoughtful and realistic in their expectations. If you are using traditional honey as a flavor profile, not as a curative or medicinal…why not find a plant-based, renewable alternative that would allow bees to regain in health & population, so we do not lose them as the valued pollinators they are.
It's no secret...Pollinators are in serious trouble. We want to start the conversation toward change. Some solutions or ideas include : keeping bee colonies in/on the commercial orchards so they are not migrating across the country; developing ways to diversify plants (i.e. pollinator nutrients) on the orchards. Hire beekeepers to maintain the hives (please note…we do understand that beekeepers are vital to maintain the hives). When other animal species are in trouble, we look to make changes to help the population recover, the difference here is that we rely on bees to pollinate our food system. We need to look at every aspect of the problem in order to be able to solve the whole problem.
The links provided, below, show that at most only 1/3 of the US honey consumed annually is made in the US with 76% of the honey tested has no trace of pollen…what does this say about the industry? Does it say that it has nothing to hide? Does it say that the healthful proponents expected are regularly delivered?
The issues with the industry are multi-layered, but it was Wes Jackson who has two favorite quotes to live by:
"If your life's work can be accomplished in your lifetime, you're not thinking big enough."
“If we don’t get sustainability in agriculture first, sustainability will not happen.”
Bee Free Honee® has donated to:
The University of Minnesota’s Bee & Pollinator Research Lab
The University of Minnesota’s Spivak Bee Innovation Fund
US Humane Society
Los Angeles Humane Society
Teen with a Dream
Animal Place, CA
The Farm Sanctuary
We are working toward building a scholarship program to place hives in community gardens and schools.
“Mother Nature is informing us of our mistakes. Commercial beekeepers and farmers are up in arms over these massive losses — in revenue. This is a multi-billion dollar industry that is at stake, people’s livelihoods are being ruined and the future of our food supply is unstable. ”The idea that nature can be stripped apart and mechanized is this dangerous violent notion that is not working for us…it’s not all about us. This is not the human being show. This is not the human being planet.” Says Heidi Briguglio a partner at Azure B, LLC. Briguglio and her husband Stefano are beekeepers that offer a perspective on bees that differs from commercial beekeepers — respect the bees.”
How much of the honey in the US is actually made & harvested in the US? :
“Total U.S. consumption reached 410 million pounds in 2010 according to USDA’s Economic Research Service. Based on National Honey Board assessment revenue from honey handled and imported during 2013, annual U.S. consumption is estimated at nearly 450 million pounds. The U.S. per capita consumption of honey is around 1.3 pounds per year. Honey is imported in order to meet total demand. In 2010, the share of imports in U.S. honey consumption was approximately 61 percent. (Source: USDA/ERS, Sugar and Sweetener Outlook, March 2011). With rising honey imports, the National Honey Board estimates that between 2/3 and 3/4 the honey consumed in the U.S. is now (2014) imported.”
What is Sustainable Beekeeping?
Washington State Beekeepers Association:
“Geneticists have said our honey bee gene pool is too “narrow” suggesting that we don’t have the diversity needed to prevent colony impacts.”
“The knowledge level of bee managers is often less than desirable because they are too busy doing to learn all they need to know for a sustainable operation. A bee manager needs to be able to observe bee behaviors, interpret them, know how to facilitate the needs of their colonies, and be able to do so in a sustainable economic and timely fashion.”
What is in today’s honey on the market? :
“No enforcement or checking is performed. For that reason and because of the grading system is lacking in several key areas, this grading system should never be the only deciding factor in selecting honey, there are many important honey characteristics not covered by the USDA grading system. Two honeys could be legally graded as Grade A honey and be identically labeled as, “100% Organic Clover Honey from Arizona – USDA Grade A” yet be entirely different honeys. They could be a blend of honeys from all over the world, some heated to 180 degrees to make it easy to filter, contain antibiotics, chemicals and corn syrup, not made from Clover at all nor actually be from plants in Arizona!”
How much pollen is in the honey I buy at the store level? :
“Food Safety News decided to test honey sold in various outlets after its earlier investigation found U.S. groceries flooded with Indian honey banned in Europe as unsafe because of contamination with antibiotics, heavy metal and a total lack of pollen which prevented tracking its origin.
They purchased more than 60 jars, jugs and plastic bears of honey in 10 states and the District of Columbia.
The contents were analyzed for pollen by Vaughn Bryant, a professor at Texas A&M University and one of the nation’s premier melissopalynologists, or investigators of pollen in honey.
Bryant, who is director of the Palynology Research Laboratory, found that among the containers of honey provided by Food Safety News, 76 percent or more had the pollen removed”
“Removal of all pollen from honey “makes no sense” and is completely contrary to marketing the highest quality product possible, Mark Jensen, president of the American Honey Producers Association, told Food Safety News.
“I don’t know of any U.S. producer that would want to do that. Elimination of all pollen can only be achieved by ultra-filtering and this filtration process does nothing but cost money and diminish the quality of the honey,” Jensen said.”
Old School Beekeeping Could Be The Answer:
“Now, though, there’s a revival underway — an awakening to the value of native-bee-nurturing subsistence practices around the world. As in the Kullu Valley, farmers are starting to recognize local pollinators as valuable partners in their enterprises and once again actively cultivate bees. By restoring beekeeping, farmers increase the numbers of local bees available not only to pollinate their crops but also to reclaim their role as an integral part of surrounding habitats.”
National Honey Report (February 16th, 2016):
“Right now beekeepers are going through their colonies again in preparation for almond pollination. Beekeepers want their bees in top shape. So they are adding supplemental corn syrup or sugar syrup and in some cases pollen patties to help stimulate the queen into brood production on an as needed basis.”
From the American Honey Producers Association:
“While there are multiple variables, including migratory bee practices, mono diets, mites, and loss of natural bee habitat, negatively affecting bee health and the stress on the bee populations .”
“As of mid May, there are virtually no stocks remaining in beekeepers’ hands. With prices for remaining stocks of honey have attained historically high levels of roughly $2.15/lb. for white, $2.05 for ELA and $1.95 for LA, American and Canadian beekepers had minimal incentive to retain stocks, especially as the international shortage of honey created urgent demand among packers.”